Federal authorities arrested a pilot earlier this month on felony drug charges after he landed a plane carrying 230 pounds of Southern Oregon marijuana at an airport in Texas.
According to the US Attorney’s Office, 64-year-old William Douglas Brunet of Austin, Texas, faces a charge of Felony Possession with Intention to Distribute Marijuana following the March 20th incident at Llano Municipal Airport.
The DailyTrib.com reports officials said the incident unfolded in the midst of an investigation by the US Department of Homeland Security.
According to an arrest affidavit, air traffic controllers initially tracked the pilot’s “suspicious flight pattern” from Medford, Oregon, to Texas. Investigators then surveilled the plane’s activity within Texas, which included two aborted landing attempts as the suspect spotted law enforcement on the ground.
The plane eventually landed sometime before midnight on March 19th at the Llano Airport and Brunet was observed quickly exiting the aircraft and throwing a large duffle bag and his cell phone into a grassy area near the runway.
Authorities searched and found 14 more duffle bags with an undisclosed amount of vacuum-sealed packages containing marijuana. Brunet reportedly attempted to flee but was apprehended on the tarmac by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
If convicted of the drug charge, Wayne Brunet faces between five and 40 years in federal prison. He remains in federal custody at this time.